Science 3 min read

Harvard Geneticist's Fountain of Youth Can Pause Aging - For Mice

David Sinclair is one of the most prominent genetic scientists in the world. Now, he claims he may have the key to eternal life. But, is he right, or is it just hype?

If you want an immortal mouse that can watch you slowly age and then live for eternity, then 2019 is your year. | Pexels

If you want an immortal mouse that can watch you slowly age and then live for eternity, then 2019 is your year. | Pexels

Harvard University geneticist David Sinclair recently made an exciting claim. According to scientific data, the 49-year old renowned geneticist knocked over twenty years off his biological age. But how?

From previous researches, Sinclair discovered that a specific molecule improved the health and life span of mice. By ingesting the molecule daily, the geneticist was able to increase his life span too – or so he claims.

Sinclair wrote online that he not only has the heart of an athlete but the lung capacity, blood pressure and cholesterol of a young adult too. There’s just one small problem with this bold claim; he’s not a mouse.

Although published scientific findings show that the molecule works in mice, none has demonstrated that it has a similar effect in humans.

You see, past studies already show that molecules such as Rapamycin and 17 Alpha Estradiol could increase longevity in mice by as much as 20 percent.

Other mice studies show that drugs help the rodents avoid cognitive problems, heart ailments, and cancer. There’s just one thing; human metabolism is slightly different.

Furthermore, our existence is not the same as the caged rodents. So, several drugs that worked on mice in the past have failed in humans. Which makes you wonder; Why did the renowned Harvard scientist make such a claim?

According to reports, Sinclair has a significant commercial stake in being proven correct. As a result, the geneticist may be using his scientific prowess and reputation to commercialize longevity molecules such as NAD boosters.

David Sinclair’s financial interest include being listed as an inventor on a patent that’s licensed to Elysium Health, the company selling the molecule. Also, he’s an investor in InsideTracker, the company that reportedly measured his age.

When Sinclair co-founded a company to assess resveratrol’s potential benefits in 2004, GlaxoSmithKline was intrigued. So, it wasn’t surprising that the pharmaceutical giant purchased Sinclair’s company for $720 million four years later.

However, GSK halted the research in 2010 because of underwhelming results and possible side effects five years later. By this time, Sinclair had already made $8million from the sale and $297,000 in consulting fees.

“If you say you’re a terrific scientist and you have a treatment for aging, it gets a lot of attention,” said Jeffrey Flier, a former Harvard Medical School dean.

Separating Hype From Reality in the Longevity Field

Between reputable scientists promoting unproven interventions and prominent institutions supporting it, the line between hype and reality is fast becoming a blur.

Since investors are pouring billions of dollars into the project, there’s always a buzz around the field. But the fact remains that the molecule may not work in humans.

According to Felipe Sierra, the director of the division of aging biology at the National Institute on Aging at NIH;

“the bottom line is I don’t try any of these things. Why don’t I? Because I’m not a mouse.”

Read More: Quantum Archeology and 3D-Bioprinting Could Make us Immortal

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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